Monday, January 30 – I started off the week in the normal manner, getting up to walk Giles, then getting into work and sitting down to briefly meet with Paul. I caught up on my RSS feed from over the weekend after that, then I ordered up a copy of Adobe Illustrator for the lab (turns out the “academic” release is way cheaper than the regular market one). I made up some fresh ACSF and set it to bubble after that, then I quickly checked on our rats before heading up to eat lunch.

In the afternoon I wrote a journal entry, receiving the lab-supply of Advil I’d ordered the previous week as I went along. After that I finished up the ACSF, read some more blogs, then read through the rough draft of Paul’s grant he was going to submit in mid-February. I went up to give him some feedback based on what I thought after one quick read-through, then I headed out at normal time to pick up Becky and to head on home.

I grunted out a four-mile run while Becky walked Giles. He was interested as to why there were places with No Dogs Allowed:


We’ve told him he’s not a crowd but he doesn’t seem to understand. Oh well.

I had just enough time to clean up after the run before Becky and I headed back out, to Famous Pub in Toco. We were there to meet with her lab. We’d agreed to go since we’d both forgotten to turn on the crock-pot that morning and so we had nothing for dinner, and because it would earn her some social brownie points to be spent on staying in should another occasion arise. It was actually a good time overall, though I did eat too much greasy pub food. Surprise to no one. The whole group went through three pitchers of Fat Tire over the course of the evening, so they get my Neuroscientist Seal of Approval for that.

We left right at about 9 o’clock as things were winding down, then headed on home. We watched a House from Netflix (season 7 still not doing it for us but we’ll probably ride it out), then put on some Futurama in bed before going to sleep. Not bad for a Monday.

Tuesday, January 31 – I got up to walk Giles, I got into work, I read my overnight Internets over coffee, then I posted the entry for the day. I started work on another entry after that, but I put it aside for a while to help Cari with some calculations on molarity and dilution factors. Mili- versus micro- is a tough one, especially when my sloppy mu looks like my sloppy lower-case m. I finished the entry after that and then had some time to, at long last, finish the last of the Plinkett Reviews Star Wars: Episode 1 video before taking lunch.

The first thing I did that afternoon was mark up some rat pups to be saved to grow to adults. We needed males, and at their age it’s tough to discern sex, but I think I did a decent job of it. Since I had some more time after that I wrote out another entry then, the second-to-last one I’d need to be completely caught-up to present at that time. I finally received the new computer for our LFP rig after that, 2 weeks after having ordered it. I had some time to read for just a bit more, then I headed out at 4:30 to pick up Becky and to head on home.

I wasn’t feeling 100% then but I thought I’d give running a try. While I gave it a shot Becky finally got a picture of the neighborhood zombie lady:


She always wanders down the street, always in the middle of the road, always wearing the same clothes, year round, the same blank expression on her face. She makes my soul feel cold as we pass her by.

Running wasn’t working out. I was too tired and I had some pain in my leg that seemed like it wouldn’t get better any time soon. So I walked home and called it off. I used the extra time to trim my beard, since it was getting to “save food for later” level, which is too long. That done, I sat down to have some of the slightly-delayed green apple curry Becky had made, which she and I ate while watching the Daily Show and Colbert. After that we watched DVR recordings of Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole and China, IL, then Jeopardy!, then a pair of House episodes. At that point Becky wasn’t feeling so hot and so we called it a night on the early side.

Wednesday, February 1 – ah, February. I won’t say “already” since January always seems to drag on, even when it’s 60 degrees outside. This particular February was resolved to have a typically difficult start as Becky was feeling ill enough to warrant staying home. So, after I walked Giles, she drove me to work then drove on back. Giles was happy to see Mom all day:

Happy dog eating blanket

While Becky rested at home, I got up to the lab, had my coffee, paid my bills online, read for a while, then ordered up a new power strip for the LFP rig. I always forget the power strip. I posted the daily entry, I submitted our bi-weekly rat order, then I put all of the boxes for our LFP rig into its new room, along with one of the carts that will house it. At that point I went to the VA research department meeting, at 11. Normally they’re relatively mundane but useful to go to. This one was just flat-out boring and I had trouble staying awake to the end, but managed somehow.

After eating my lunch in Paul’s main office I went down to his clinical desk to poke at his thin client PC some more. I cleared it of some junk, but failed to do a local install of the Office components he wanted. After a bit more poking about, though, I got a virtual desktop connection working from it to his main Emory PC. So there, I fixed it. Hooray! And, after that, I had time to write the final entry I needed to be caught up on writing (but not posting) entries! Double hooray! With all my tasks done for the day, I left to wait outside under the rain-soaked awning for Becky at about 4:15.

Fortunately, it hadn’t been raining all day, and Becky had the strength to go out a little bit to give Giles some attention. She drove him out to the reservoir ruins down at the trail near Medlock Park:

Reservoir Ruins

He was quite happy to be Dog All Over the Place. He went up stairs:

Reservoir Ruins

…then down stairs:

Reservoir Ruins

He got eaten by a shark:

Shark Eating Dog

…and he relaxed in a pile of mud:

Happy dog in the mud

It was fun. But then his attention was drawn to a floating orb:

Dog contemplating floating orb

He mastered its ways, then learned how to float himself:


It was the best Dog Day ever. Giles likes it when Mom stays home.

Unfortunately for us but fortunately for him, Giles would probably get his way again, soon. Becky still wasn’t feeling completely recovered, and I was starting to feel lousy, too. I skipped going to the gym, and instead just settled in with some left-over green apple curry while watching the Daily Show and Colbert. After that we watched some of Michael Palin’s Himalaya off the DVR, then some of a show about crocodiles until Jeopardy! came on. After that we both struggled to stay awake while watching Prophets of Science Fiction on H. G. Wells (summary: invent ALL the science fiction!) before we retired quite early for the evening. Whatever it was Becky had, I had some of it, too.

Thursday, February 2 – I wasn’t feeling particularly up to going into work that morning. I emailed Paul to say I might be in by the afternoon, then I went back to sleep until 8. I dragged myself up to walk Giles, and the mere act of walking a couple of blocks drained me to the point where it was abundantly clear I would not be going into work at all. Instead, I’d spend the rest of the morning lying on the couch with a Dog-Blanket:


I sleepily watched some of a show called Ape to Man with Becky. We’d seen it before so it was okay to tune in and out. Good, as I couldn’t focus terribly well. After it ended Becky decided to go to the gym to try to shake off her weariness, and I watched some of a show we’d recorded about moose attacks (hey, beats whatever’s on TV), followed by some Dirty Jobs I’d also put on the DVR. As I watched that I ate the lunch Becky had packed me for that day, then, since Becky was back, I watched the Price is Right from that day that we’d recorded about an hour earlier.

At about 1:30 in the afternoon we decided it was high time we went out and did something. We drove up to Mason Mill Park – just on the east side of Clairmont south of North Druid Hills – to see about giving Giles a walk. Becky thought there was a dog park there, but we couldn’t find it. There was also a geocache there, though, and so we did have a purpose in going. We incidentally parked near its location and it wasn’t but a few minutes before Becky turned it up:

N 33° 48.491 W 084° 18.389

Giles was being troublesome while we looked. I’m glad we have him as cover – especially then as a pair of octogenarians watched our every move – but he really seems upset when we root around in search of caches. We got him to calm down enough for this shot:

N 33° 48.491 W 084° 18.389

After that I pretended to pet him as I slipped the cache into its hiding spot. I hoped that was enough of a diversion for the oldsters, at least.

When we got home I helped Becky to haul down all of her paintings to the basement, as part of her ongoing re-decoration scheme. That was enough physical activity for me, though, so I lied down, posted my entry for the day, then spent much of the rest of the afternoon reading: first my RSS feed, then my Kindle some (I got up to about 400 pages into Anathem. Only 600 more to go!). I got up after that to watch some of the 2010 Alice in Wonderland with Becky, then we got ourselves some of the chili she’d set to slow cook that morning. So good. So caloric, but so good. We ate it while watching the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, then we put on an Orangutan Island off of the DVR until it was time for Jeopardy!. We followed that with a STNG, then we read for a good while (I’d started The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, finally) before going to sleep on the early side, both of us intent on returning to work the next morning.

Friday, February 3 – and so we did return to work, for better or worse. After giving Giles his walk and getting my coffee, I sat down and met with Paul for a short while. I read for a bit after that, then I tried to find this dang return-address sticker for our empty ink cartridge. After turning the lab over and inside-out I had to admit that I’d lost it (whoops). I called off the search in favor of going to the Neuro group meeting. That went fairly well, and after eating my lunch I returned to the lab to post an entry, then to spend much of the rest of the afternoon reading various Internets on which I was slightly behind. Well and caught-up, I headed out at 4 o’clock down to this wood-fire pizza place called Sapori di Napoli in Decatur. I hitched a ride with Cari, and we’d meet Paul and his family there. In the mean time, Becky had the car-key to drive herself home and to rest up.

The pizza there was quite good and it was pretty empty that early in the evening. It was good to get out with Paul’s family for a bit, but even better afterward to have a nice walk up Church St in the cool, early-Spring air. I was walking to a park up past the Decatur pool, where I’d meet with Becky. As she hit a traffic snarl on Lawrenceville Highway I got there in plenty of time to flag her over to park on the side of the road. We got Giles out of the car, then skittered across the road and into the park. By that point it was already 6 o’clock and so we were losing daylight, so we spared no time in looking for the cache there. In an odd occurrence, I managed to find it on my own without Becky’s help:


So maybe I’m starting to get somewhat better at this!

There was a dog park in this one and so we let Giles off-leash to run around in it for a while. It was near-dark and there were no other dogs there as he ran about and I tossed him a ball or two (that he would inevitably lose track of in the low light). A young woman with her smaller dog came up, then sighed heavily in exasperation as Giles came up to sniff her dog. Becky asked what was wrong in a nicer tone than I would have and she made some half-hearted excuse about how her dog didn’t want to be there. We collected Giles, put him on his leash, then headed out. As we did so she said something to the effect of “I hope you’re not leaving because of me.” As a matter of fact, we were. Christ, lady. Either be rude and live up to it or don’t be rude. You want the dog park to yourself, you’re going to have to deal with people not liking you. You can’t have public space to yourself and live in a city at the same time. Sorry. Deal with it.

Despite her being a Debbie Downer it was actually a quite nice way to get some fresh air that evening. We got home at about 6:45, then settled in with the Daily Show, Colbert, Jeopardy!, and the 6th-season finale of STNG. We watched the Inside Nature’s Giants on DVR about great white sharks after that, then we watched the new Portlandia on TV (a good episode, too). After that we read some to wind down, then went on to bed.